Police are investigating the Tuesday evening incident, which the victim, 21, filmed on his cell phone. The victim has been identified in German media as being an Israeli.
During the attack, the assailant lashed the kippah-clad Jewish man with his belt and repeated the Arabic word for Jew, “Yahudi.”
According to news reports, the victim was accompanied by a friend, 24, who also was wearing a kippah. He reported being verbally attacked by three men; after the belt came out, one of the attacker’s companions intervened and the three began to move away.
Police told the BZ online newspaper that the Jewish men then followed their attackers, one of whom by then had picked up a bottle. A 24-year-old woman intervened to keep the groups apart and the three attackers fled on foot.
The incident took place on a warm evening in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, which is popular among many Israelis living in Berlin. It is also home to an Orthodox Jewish community centered around the Lauder Yeshivas Beis Zion and the synagogue Kahal Adass Jisroel Berlin.
The video of the attack taken on the victim’s cellphone has coursed through social media after it was shared by the Berlin-based Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Antisemitism.
Forum spokesperson Levi Salomon told the BZ that the incident shows that even in a “posh Berlin district… Jews are not safe.” He said it is
time for politicians to stop talking and do something.
Berlin Jewish community council member Mike Samuel Delberg also shared the video on his Facebook profile, and in his posting urged the police
and investigators to find the perpetrator and “go after him with the full force of law.”
In related news, the Berlin-based Research and Information Center on Antisemitism, or RIAS, on Wednesday released its report on anti-Semitic
incidents for 2017. A total of 947 incidents were reported, an increase of more than 60 percent over the 590 incidents documented for 2016.
“People in Berlin are confronted with anti-Semitism on a daily basis, project director Benjamin Steinitz said in a statement accompanying the report. “On average, we learn of three to four incidents daily. Antisemitism is a problem for the entire society. It marks the lives of those affected, and we must not leave them to deal with it alone.”